Saturday, November 14, 2009

How Do Cats Learn?

Cats, like children, learn by imitation.  They tend to copy our energy, becoming nervous when we are upset...but, mostly they copy behavior  from each other.  Some behaviors are learned only if there is some related prior experience.  For instance, Sophie loves to gaze out the windows.  She mostly watches nearby bugs as well as the little lizard which likes hangs out right outside the bedroom window. 

Sophie spent time outdoors before she joined us, and she knows at what she is looking.  Miki has not been outside for the past 5 years and showed no interest in anything beyond his safe interior, learned to look out the window from Sophie.  Does he recognize what he is seeing.?  Does he recall what he learned about bugs, and lizards in his first two years?  I think so.

Both Rudy and Santino have been curious about the windows in which Sophie and Miki spend much time, but neither is at all interested.  Yes, they react if they spy immediate movement, but lose interest almost immediately.  The movement catches their attention but not meaning. 

Rudy has always scratched the floor around any food which he does not like, very clearly labeling it "POOP:".
Neither Santino nor Sophie made such comments in the beginning, but both do now.  I am hoping that Miki won't pick up this rude habit! :-) 

Miki has, however, picked up Santino's penchant for draping himself over my shoulder.  If Santino is heavy, Miki has him beat by at least a pound. or two.  Arggggghhhh!    On the positive side is that Rudy has become more affectionate! 

No one has copied Santino in begging, also a good thing.  They are happy to let Santino do that and simply come running when they hear him! 

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